Fast-expanding Shanghai Pharma breaks ground on $1.8B biotech park focused on next-gen R&D, antibody production
One of China’s biggest biopharma companies is hitting the ground running in 2021.
Shanghai Pharmaceuticals broke ground Monday on a $1.8 billion, 3.2 million-square-foot industrial park dedicated to R&D work in the bustling field of cell and gene therapies as well as manufacturing therapeutic antibodies, the firm said.
The massive site is located in Pudong New Area’s Zhangjiang area and will see construction take place in two phases — 1.08 million square feet for the first, and 2.15 million square feet for the second. News of the groundbreaking and expansion project was first reported by SHINE, a digital news outlet of the Shanghai Daily.
Zuo Min, Shanghai Pharma’s executive director and president, said the biopharma industry park will feature both innovation-incubation-service and industrialization platforms to help startups commercialize lab research projects, SHINE reported.
“The new site could greatly expedite new drug research and the commercialization process in Shanghai, making the city more attractive for new research projects from home and abroad,” Zuo said.
The incubation platform will cover roughly 538,000 square feet while another 861,000 square feet will be allocated for antibody manufacturing facilities, the company said. The total volume of antibody reactors is expected to reach 120,000 liters.
Shanghai Pharma’s manufacturing capacities currently focus on therapeutics in oncology, cerebrocardiovascular diseases, CNS drugs, and immunology, among other areas.
Over the past three years, the company has worked to expand not only in China, but in the US and Europe as well. In 2018, the company publicized its intent to hunt for American manufacturing and R&D corporations that it could partner with and acquire China rights from to bolster its distribution business.
As part of those efforts, the company opened a facility in San Diego in 2018, which has quickly launched efforts in myriad oncology drug and antibody programs.
Shanghai’s pipeline includes cirmtuzumab, a monoclonal antibody drug that targets mantle cell lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, in Phase I/II clinical trials, according to the conglomerate’s website. It also has TK216, a small molecule seeking to target Ewing sarcomas—which present as pediatric bone and soft tissue cancer— in a Phase I study in patients with relapsed or refractory Ewing sarcomas.
The drugmaker is also in preclinical development of ROR1 CAR-T, a cell therapy which doesn’t attack healthy cell tissue but may provide immune responses to cancerous cells in hematologic and solid tumors. The San Diego site is aiding its Shanghai home base with testing and development of Oncorine, or oncolytic viruses, which preferentially infect and kill cancer cells.